CREDITS : 20
FACULTY : FACULTY BUSINESS AND LAW
MODULE BOARD : TOURISM
Table of content
Importance of Quality Management
-History of service quality
-Different schools of thoughts
Measuring and managing service quality
-Service quality dimension
-Benefits of both
-Business development and expansion, success, failure
Quality management and measurement methods
Figure 1: ServQual model
Service quality impact on Canary Wharf hotel
Service quality (impact of each one of them and recommendations )
-Service quality culture
-understaffing/ recruitment practices
Customer feedback system
- Comment cards
Figure 2: comment card
- Online feedback
Figure 3: online feedback
- Personal interviews
Figure 4: personal onterview
Managing and measuring service quality is important today in London for hotels' businesses to improve their corporate image in the context of challenges faced by the hospitality industry in particular the skill shortage, the Brexit and the shrinking of the workforce. Quality management programs involving the assessment of the hotels current service delivery impact on the frontline staff, their engagement and also managerial implications and the monitoring and continual improvement of service quality are sought by managers to satisfy the guests. This paper offers a theoretical look at issues and solutions related to how hospitality businesses in particular the Canary Wharf maintains the service quality standards, The case study indicates the exploitation information for the service quality improvement. We conclude the Canary wharf hotel can use a set of strategies to solve service quality issues while minimizing the risks to lose some guests and become successful. A Customer Feedback System (CFS) framework had been suggested to monitor and continually improve the Canary Wharf hotel service quality. Further research should be carried out to gather more data about the guests behaviour and expectations to minimize the customer dissatisfaction issues.
In hospitality and tourism industry the quality of service to guests is known to be critically important in providing competitive advantage to businesses. Delivering quality service is one of the major challenges the hospitality managers will be facing in the following years as it is an essential condition for success in the emerging, keenly competitive, global hospitality markets. Globally, quality lodging demands and travel preferences from guests are evolving. Hoteliers are looking for service quality improvement strategies and innovative alternatives to traditional lodging products to meet changing demand and satisfy their customers.
According to the forecasts from (VisitBritain,2017), spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £24.1 billion in 2017 in the United Kingdom, an 8% increase on spending this year. However, (PwC,2017) argued that it's a mixed outlook for London, which has recently seen weak demand chasing too many rooms, uncertainty around the EU referendum, security concerns and hospitality staff shortage. Despite this outlook the Canary Wharf hotel in London is a successful three stars hotel with 200% customers with service quality challenges resulted from the increase in the number of guests. The range of choice, the hospitality staff shortage, the skill shortage and growing travel-savvy nature of travellers, means Canary wharf hotel managers must find the best effective mix of services to meet guests' expectation. We will justify the importance of managing and measuring service quality, recommend the adoption of appropriate service quality management methods. We will assess the impact the current service delivery will have on the front-line employee , their engagement and also managerial implications. In the study of Canary Wharf hotel, we will analyze the present situation and ensure that this hotel maintains the standards expected; the hotel 3 stars rating and modern and stylish en-suite rooms, food and beverage and public areas. We will produce a Customer Feedback System (CFS) framework Canary Wharf hotel can utilize to monitor and continually improve service quality.
Importance of quality management
-History of service quality
Service quality can be traced back in the forties and fifties in America and Japan pioneered by Deming, Juran , Feigenbaum and Ishikawa. The fourteen points plan for management had been recommended by Deming to achieve a successful service quality.
According to Juran (1992) the improvement of quality can be sought by working within the system familiar to managers plan, control, and improve ( quality trilogy) and the ten steps to quality improvement
The originator of total quality control Feigenbaum promoted the methods of three steps, the quality leadership, the modern quality technology and the organisational commitment in the fifties
According to Revolvy (2017) from 1950 onwards, Japan decided to make quality improvement a national priority to rebuild their economy after the second world war with the help of Shewhart, Deming and Juran
Additionally, the Japanese guru K. Ishikawa's total quality perspective incorporates companywide quality control, an emphasis on the human side of quality in the fifties, the use of tools such as : the fishbone diagram, the seven Basic Quality Tools and the quality Circle. Japan became a successful economy.
In western countries , Crosby's philosophy was quality is free in the seventies and eighties. Indeed, that philosophy was based on four primary ideas which Crosby called absolutes.
In the United Kingdom service quality is the quality awards and standards of organisations such as BQF (British Quality Foundation, EFQM ( European, Foundation for quality Model), ISO 9001 (LRQA : Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance), CQI( Chartered Quality Institute) and NoEE (North of England Excellence). According to Milakovich (2006) internationally, service quality is the leading quality awards and standards such as ISO 9000 series, he Deming prize in japan and the Malcom Baldridge National Awards in the United States.
-Different schools of thoughts
The Nordic School of Thought.
According to Gronroos (1990) quality dimensions are interrelated and the importance of image should be recognise. Additionally, this School of Thought (1994) developed 6 dimensions : professionalism and skills, attitudes and behaviour, accessibility and flexibility, reliability and trustworthiness, recovery, reputation and credibility.
The North American School of Thought
The influential leader such as Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml's (1967) came up with a Gap Analysis model with ten dimensions: reliability, responsiveness, competence, access, courtesy, communication, credibility, security, understanding, tangibles that were later in 1988 condensed to five: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, empathy, reassurance (ServQuaL).
Differences between the two schools
In fact, the main differences between the Nordic European and the North American are the first is often more qualitative with perceived disconfirmation, focus on what is better or worse than expectations. According to Brotherton and Wood (2008) the North European school is mostly theoretical, and consequently fails to support the validity of its models with empirical studies
By contrast, the North American school of thought is quantitative with inferred disconfirmation, focus on the expectations minus performance and finding the gaps (Servqual). According to Brotherton and Wood (2008) the North American school is mainly hooked on empirical studies but these studies had created mixed outcomes.
Measuring and managing service quality
We measure and manage service quality to assess and benchmark the service quality and the performance and find strategies to improve the service. The guests' perception of the service quality can be elucidated by the following service quality dimensions:
Parasuman, Zeithaml, Berry (1988) affirmed that reliability exposes the service providers ability to complete service dependently and accurately. Additionally, reliability consist of doing it right the first time , which is one of the most essential components for customers. Reliability also prolongs the provision of service as and when promised and keeping error-free records.
expresses the timeliness of product and service provision. Actually , today luxury is time. Consequently, hospitality businesses ability to provide service in a timely manner is critical factor of service quality for guests.
Parasuraman, Zethaml, Berry (1988) affirmed that the assurance reveals the knowledge and courtesy of workers and their ability to stimulate confidence and trust.
Parasuraman, Zethaml, Berry (1988) argued that empathy includes the caring , personalize attention the business provides its guests.
Zeithaml, parasuraman and Berry (1990) argued that the tangibles reveals the aesthetics , or look of the facilities and equipment used in the production of products and provision of services.
A competitive hotel business must be innovative and inspect service quality dimensions that are successfully or may be ineffectively addressed by rivals but are vital to guests .Thus, addressing them will improve service quality and eventually affect guests purchasing decisions.
Moliterni ( 2008) affirmed that customer satisfaction relies on reliability, responsiveness , assurance, empathy and tangibles and other supplementary factors such as price , personal and situational factors that occur during the service supply. For instance, in the case of the hotel, guests satisfaction depends on the front desk operators courtesy, on the room size, and cleanliness, on the quality of tangibles ( room amenities and bathrooms), on the room price, on personal factors (guests' mood during the service supply) and finally the situational features (noise of other guests, workers, strikes). Hence, a satisfied guests is more likely to become a repeat customer. The most effective way to improve customer satisfaction is to improve the processes through which service is delivered.
The benefits to be derived from service quality improvement and customer satisfaction are enhanced customer loyalty, competiveness and financial, word-of-mouth endorsement, staff retention and reduced operational costs. According to Hoffman and Bateson (2016) the benefits of service quality are improved profitability, repeat repurchase and increased market share, which eventually leads to profits. Thus, understanding expectation helps the managers to provide the desired service and save money on attributes and areas that are not necessary in the hospitality business.
According to Heskett, Sasser and Schlesinger (2014) the service profit chain maintains that there are strong and direct relationship between profit, customer satisfaction, growth value of goods, customer loyalty and service delivered to customers, satisfaction; employee capability, productivity and loyalty. Additionally, cost and price are determining factor of profit to be made from the hotel. Thus, the service profit drives revenue profitability and growth.
Business development and expansion, success or failure
Service quality is important to the marketing concept, with indication of strategic connections between the service quality and the general hotel's performance. Indeed, a good service quality could have a positive impact on the behaviour intentions of the customers such as increased spending , ongoing revenues, price premium, referred customers. Zeithaml, Parasuman, Berry (1996) added that a poor service quality could have a negative impact on the behaviour intentions such as the decreased spending, loss of customers and cost to attract new customers.
Quality management and measurement methods
According to Pizam, A. (2010) some part of management systems deals with ensuring that organisation's work is done to a certain quality level. For example, the floor supervisor system is done to see if guestrooms are cleaned and prepared to a certain quality. According to Juran (1992) quality management involves 3 stages :planning, control and improvement (Juran Trilogy). Thus, several hotels promote quality control as a companywide strategic process. When the guests arrive in the hotel for instance, they will be assessing, perceiving, weighing and evaluating each step of the operation and frontline employee. Consequently, through that process of guests orientating, being hotel manager means wearing guests spectacles and seeing with their eyes the service quality delivery.
According to Noe, Magnini and Uysal (2010) service quality is created by the interactions of three distinct forces: the provider, the corporate processes and the customer. Hotels must have customer-oriented employees. In the hospitality industry, the guest experience is directly affected by the attitudes and behaviors of the frontline employees. The orientation process should be based on a customer-oriented attitude, or plans involving employees in improving processes and participating in decision-making.
The role of service quality in the service design and managing service quality emerged as a critical success factor. Furthermore, Orsini (2013) argued that the service design is the function of the management, not of co-worker. For this reason, marketing and operations managers should work together to design a customer satisfying service quality. Additionally, they should plan and organise the staff, the infrastructure, the communication and the material components in order to improve the quality, the interactions between service and service provider. Thus, the services will be optimized for user-friendliness, competiveness and customer relevance.
According to Rodoula, Tsiotsou and Wirtz (2015) the three- stages model of service consumption are: the pre-purchase stage , the service encounter stage and the post-encounter stage .
Ford, Sturman and Heaton (2012) argued that the moment-of-truth concept is very important ; each guest may have only a few moments of truth during a single experience or many moments in a lifetime relationship with a company, but each one needs to be positive . The best hotels identify when and where these moments of truth occur and ensure they are managed well.
The environment of the hotel has an impact on customers and employees interaction. The service setting could help to enhance the satisfaction of the customers. For example the design, the lightning and the decoration of the restaurant and the absence of queue in the hotel could enhance the satisfaction of the guest and increased their spending. The hotel managers should monitor and adapt or redesign the elements of service setting (interior, exterior and other) to make profits.
According to Hudson and Hudson packaging, facilitator, socialiser and differentiator are the strategic role of the service setting. Zeithaml et al (2007) argued that a key strategic role of the servicescape is “packaging which conveys the external image. He added that another strategic role of the servicescape is “differentiation” which may be reinforced through distinctive staff uniforms. Servicescape should be designed holistically, meaning design elements are fully integrated because everything depends on everything else.
Bittner (1992) affirmed that the servicescape perspective considers all the experiential elements consumers encounter in a service context. The physical service environment consumers' experience plays a significant role in shaping the service experience and enhancing or undermining consumer satisfaction, especially in frontline employees and processing services.
The measurement of service quality contributes to assess the satisfaction of the customers to find the areas in needs of improvement and create a customer-oriented service culture to move the hospitality business towards a service quality culture.
Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml's (1967) come up with a gap analysis model with ten dimensions that were later (1988) reduced to five (reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, tangibles).The ServQual instrument is one of the most use method to measure service quality in the hotel service process. It measures quality by comparing customers' perception of the quality of a service experience to customer expectation for that service across the five service quality dimensions. According to Buttle (1996) in theory, the ServQual concentrates on the process of service delivery not the results of service encounter. In practice, guests assessment of moment-of-truth (MOT) can differ from MOT to MOT. According to Pizam (2010) service quality maybe measured only as a combination of service efficiency, food presentation, quality food and other features linked to the entire dining experience. Therefore, the evaluation of service quality features are often subjective verdicts made by human beings. Hoffman and Bateson (2016) affirmed that the service gap indicates specific areas in need of improvement and will assist the hotel in continuous improvement effort.
Figure 1: Servqual model
The hospitality businesses should monitor closely the satisfaction of their customers to succeed. According to Juline, Mills and Law (2015) perhaps the only way for a business to remain an ongoing success is to be flexible and adaptable at all times. The managers should collect data and information to know the needs and wants of the guests and find solutions to satisfied them. The techniques to assess quality during the service are the managerial observation, the job performance standards,the employee observation, the service guarantee and the structured guest interview.After the service experience, the service quality could be measured with comments cards, surveys, cold calls, mystery shoppers, focus group and interviews. New technologies such as the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps to solve complaints fast and satisfy the customers and predict their needs and behaviours to provide quality service . A satisfied customer becomes a repeat customer. Surveys and reviews will help to solve problems fast and maintain a good service quality that will help to increase profit.
It is essential for hotel managers to consistently monitor and control the satisfaction and the dissatisfaction of the customers to make profits. One of the most used technique and method for assessing service quality is the service standards. The hotel's cleanliness, bathrooms, service, bedrooms and food must be assessed to meet the quality rating standards. For example a requirement to get a three stars is the provision of one room service meal, either continental breakfast or dinner, clearly advertised in bedrooms in the United Kingdom. The hotel service quality can be assessed by an external organisation such as ISO 9000 to fulfil the customers quality requirements, meet application regulatory requirements, improve customers satisfaction and improve business performance. According to Pizam (2010) ISO 9000 is a family of standards providing a framework against which organisations can standardize their management of quality.
Quality in the tourism and hospitality industry involves consistent delivery of products and guest services according to expected standards . According to Noe, Magnini and Uysal (2010) a high service quality standards is a must in a service oriented society where multiple companies are competing for the same customer. Service quality suffers when employees are hapzerdly selected and poorly prepared to meet customer defined-service quality specifications.
TQM is a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction, According to Coombes, Stein and Christensen (2013) TQM is based on the participation of all members of an organization in improving processes, products, services and the culture they work in. TQM programs incorporate the following attributes: executive commitment, customer and supplier involvement, process improvement, measurement, employee empowerment, open organization, training, benchmarking, flexibility and a zero defects mentality.
TQM is one the most applied and well accepted approach between the contemporary innovations such as six sigma, just-in-time to achieve business excellence and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in a rapid changing environment like the hospitality industry.
Service quality impact on Canary Wharf employee's empowerment
Robbins (2009) states that the business culture is the belief that helps the employees to understand how the business works and prioritizes. The guests are always right and should be the priority for any employee because the hotel workforce wages depend on them. The guests weren't the priority at the Canary Wharf hotel. For example, the server couldn't take decisions to satisfy the guests and asked the guests to wait for the return of the manager the next morning. The guests could be dissatisfied and seek similar service elsewhere.The employee empowerment issues are poor hotel customer service policy, inflexibility, poor sense of responsibility, inadequate standardisation of the tasks, unclear mission and value and poor level of commitment to common purpose.
According to Peris-Ortiz, Álvarez-García, and Rueda-Armengot (2015) with the possibility exception of the tangibles all the remaining 4 service dimensions are clearly heavily dependent on the attributes and behaviours of the front line employees. For this reason, it is essential to empower the employees to reduce the service quality issues by effectively invest resources to satisfy customers through empowered people in the face of the market competition, so as to realise a profitable return on investment. Moreover, Pizam (2010) affirmed that the focus is on providing employee with opportunities to have a greater freedom, autonomy and self-control over various aspects of their work, while at the same time being encouraged to think creatively and take risks to respond fast to work situations. Thus, the reasons to use employee empowerment strategy includes concerns for both the service quality and the satisfaction of the employees' needs.
The hotel should provide suitable training and promote team building and encourage the staff to take decisions to solve the problems as they happens. Indeed, well trained staff can positively affects participation and boost sales.
Additionally, the hotel policy in terms of decisions making should change to encourage delegation and decentralized decisions making. Thus, the workers could take decisions and solve problems fast to satisfy the needs and wants of the guests. Their sense of responsibility and ownership will increase resulting in the satisfaction of the guests. A satisfied customer will become a repeat customer and will spread the word to others and the hotel will make profit
Beardwell and Holden (2001) argued that the benefits of employees' empowerment are higher levels of commitment through increased job satisfaction, ownership, self-confidence, acquisition of new knowledge and skills and the promotion of team working. A higher understanding of the Canary Wharf hotel's needs can bring about increase in quality and reduction in costs, reduced staff turnover and increased communication and loyalty, organisational improvements , as employees are more responsive to guests' needs and better equipped to respond to change in customer demand .Lastly, the managers should become coaches and facilitators to monitor and speed up the empowerment of the staff.
-Service quality culture
Robbins (2009) defines the organisation culture as a system of common meaning followed by members, differentiating the organisation from the others organisations. The Canary Wharf hotel is successful with 200% customers but many service quality issues could have a negative impact on its performance. The service quality issues could partly be due to the organisation culture. This hotel has a weak culture that could affect its direction, knowledge, strategy, and ultimately its success because some guests may seek similar service elsewhere. Indeed, the assessment of the working climate shows a poor sense of responsibility, inflexibility, unclear mission and values, inadequate standardisation of the tasks, no level of commitment to common purpose and the lack of perceived rewards.
The managers should adopt a new service quality strategy to define and redesign the service culture to solve the problems. Also, the strategy will include culture as a competitive advantage, management by culture and culture as competency and employee commitment. The service quality strategy must be a set of guidelines that provides orientation for everyone in the hotel. Additionally, that strategy must be connected to culture. According to Cook (2011) culture is the glue that holds an organisation together. Managers should change existing culture and communicate how to work within the culture. Additionally, the managers or leaders should adapt their leadership style to change or improve the hotel current culture. They could also motivate the staff and adopt the democratic leadership style for example to empower the staff.
They will also need to improve their leadership skills to become coaches or facilitators and send messages of cultural values. For example Marriot hotel cultural value is to put its workers called “Associates” first, pursue excellence , embrace change, act with integrity and serve our world (Marriot.co.uk,2017). Additionally, the four factors that drive quality as a cultural value are leadership emphasis, message credibility, peer involvement, and employee ownership of quality issues (Harvard Business Review,2017). Thus, the managers should set the example that can be seen in their behaviour and commitment. They should teach or translate the culture to their employees. Furthermore, the rewards and training systems and the measures of achievement should also be improved. The hotel can offer culture class lesson, e-learning and self-paced learning options to its employees. Employees must receive the necessary tools, resources and training to deliver quality service.
Managers should build the hotel service culture, image and reputation by making the shareholders, guests and employees, believe understand and support the culture. According to Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1990) to reduce the service culture issue such as the standardisation of the tasks the employee should be committed to quality , possibilities created, with soft technology change the work process and set service quality control goal to make profits. Managers could enforce standards and be involved in improvement process. The hotel could follow ISO 9000 quality standards to meet customers satisfaction. In conclusion, the service culture should become everyone responsibility to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
-understaffing/ recruitment practices
The success of recruiting and retaining the British hospitality employees is a challenge because of the unattractive wages, London rising living cost and the Brexit. The Canary Wharf hotel is understaffed and the employees are untrained to meet the expectations of the guests. The direct costs of replacement such as advertising ,clerical time to process the paper work, and so on , along with orientation and training could be costly. That hotel could have a low productivity attributed to labour shortage, skill shortage and skill gaps for managers in the coming months. Consequently, the hotel could lose guests and cannot continue to make profits. The Canary Wharf hotel managers should look at recruitment strategies and plan ahead to recruit for busy periods as it may be harder and take longer to fill vacancies over the next couple of years. Additionally, the hotel could get strong staff engagement, address retention issues and flexible working arrangements.
According to Cook (2011) culture is glue that is often imperceptible and binds together temporary. When it doesn't stick an organisation together sometimes, change culture is required by reassessing and making changes to all traits of the organisation. That's why culture should be a key trait to look for when recruiting. The result of poor culture fit due to turnover can have a negative impact on the hotel performance and guests may find similar service elsewhere. But before the hiring team starts measuring candidates' culture fit, they need to be able to define and articulate the hotel's culture, its values, goals, and practices and then weave this understanding into the hiring process. The hiring team should assess the candidates interpersonal skills, flexibility and adaptability and empathy to recruit the right persons to fill the vacancies.
Frontline employees possess a large measure of control over the customer experience. Their actions determine whether a customer becomes a brand evangelist or detractor. Understanding how best to recruit and motivate these employees and designing processes and strategies to ensure that they're empowered, energized and personally vested is at the core delivering standout service and creating a compelling brand experience. if the Canary Wharf hotel assesses culture fit throughout the recruiting process, it will hire professionals who will flourish in their new roles, drive long-term growth and success and ultimately save time and money.
Customer feedback system (CFS)
The Canary Wharf hotel's quality must take into account all service features and products and characteristics that add value to guests and lead to guest satisfaction, retention and preference. According to Thomas and Rao (2015) the hotel needs to facilitate for guests complain, supply many channels for doing so, and offer quick, and effective follow-up to solve any guest problems. A Customer Feedback System is recommended to collect guest data and resolve the service quality issues, satisfy the guests and make profits. Canary Wharf hotel can use one methods or use a mix of methods in the Customer Feedback System such as comment cards, online feedback, and personal interviews to collect data to solve problems related to the quality of service delivery and the guests' satisfaction.
The comment card is a form of survey that could help to gather data to solve Canary Wharf hotel's service problems quick and maintain high level of service quality.
The comment cards can be standardised for easy comparisons and analysis and can be tailor-made to the needs of the hotel, and guests' needs can be traced over time. According to (Communications, 2017) they are cost effective, solicit immediate feedback and can be acted on fast by the staff. Thus, the managers can analyse cards immediately and search for any concerning comments.
Generally, the comment cards have often low response rate and the sample may not be representative of their population. Additionally, they can cope with a limited number of concerns because of their short length, and there can be issues with validity and reliability. Nevertheless, Reid and Bojanic (2010) affirmed that it is possible to improve the response rate by keeping them simple, by using closed-ended questions ,giving them personally to the frontline employee or waiting staff, leaving a space for comments ,by offering an incentive and promising confidentiality , by using postage return or a collection box. The suggested comment card will be based on the rooms service and the answers to the questionnaire will be rated excellent , good, fair , and poor.
Figure 2: comment card
According to Khosrowpour, M. (2003) five stars corporate hotels have e-CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and employed ICT (Information Communication Technology) as the primary tools for a survey that concentrates on
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